Traveling Shoes: Black Migrations—A Journey of Discovery

Posted by: yetheart, February 6, 2019 6:48 pm
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Passport and Stamps

This February, Queens Library will join the rest of our country in celebrating the legacy and achievements of black Americans.

In addition to our great schedule of Black History Month events, the Library will also host special programs focusing on a new theme.

Traveling Shoes: Black Migrations is our system-wide Black History Month celebration focusing on the movements of black populations around the world, and their incredible cultural and demographic impact on the societies in which they have settled.

During Traveling Shoes: Black Migrations, you will have the opportunity to see how the African diaspora (the collective name of the communities across the world whose ancestors arrived from Africa) has influenced America and the rest of the Western world. You will also learn how much of what we know and love as Americans is due to the journeys of those black travelers.

We will examine the stories of these journeys through the words and accomplishments of black writers, poets, playwrights, composers, musicians, scientists, academics, journalists, community leaders, and others.

The Migration Series Panel 1 by Jacob LawrenceFor instance, many of our Traveling Shoes: Black Migrations programs will focus on the artist Jacob Lawrence and his wonderful Migration Series of paintings, an ambitious 60-panel series that portrays the Great Migration of over a million African Americans from the rural South to the industrial North.

While many people first think of the transatlantic slave trade or the Great Migration, we’ll also look at other black journeys, including modern immigration from the Caribbean, the West Indies, and many African countries.

We've also created a unique way for you to learn about a collection of special cultural objects that symbolize black migrations: our exciting Passport Challenge!

Pick up a special passport at your local library and travel to each Queens Library location to learn about a different object. Track your progress by collecting a unique stamp at each library. If you collect the most stamps, you will have a chance to win special prizes!

Visit our Traveling Shoes: Black Migrations webpage to learn more about the Passport Challenge, our programs and events, and recommended books and documentaries.

We hope you will join us on our month-long journey.